Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

Northern Arizona University

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Rita Cheng

Total enrollment
29,031 (2015)

+1 928-523-9011

$136 million (2014)

Acceptance rate
77% (2015)

Louie the Lumberjack

Blue, Gold

Northern Arizona University

Former names
Northern Arizona Normal SchoolNorthern Arizona State Teacher's CollegeArizona State Teacher's College of FlagstaffArizona State College of Flagstaff

Research universityPublic

Academic affiliation
Coconino National Forest, S San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA

Undergraduate tuition and fees
Local tuition: 9,394 USD (2015)

Notable alumni
Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University, National American University, Coconino County Communi


Living on campus at northern arizona university

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public research university with a main campus at the base of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Arizona, a branch campus in Yuma, Arizona, and community campuses statewide. Governed by the Arizona Board of Regents and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the university offers 155 baccalaureate and graduate degree programs.


As of fall 2016, 30,368 students were enrolled, 22,134 at the Flagstaff campus. The average cost of tuition and fees for a full-time, Arizona resident undergraduate student for two semesters is $10,764, and out-of-state undergraduates will pay an estimated $24,144. NAU also participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program, which offers lower tuition rates for students from the Western United States. For 2016 – 2017, WUE tuition and fees are $15,638. NAU offers Flagstaff undergraduate students the Pledge Program, which guarantees the same tuition rate for four years.

According to the global university rankings published by the Times Higher Education in 2016, NAU ranked among the top 500 universities in the world.


Initially named the Northern Arizona Normal School, the institution opened on September 11, 1899, with 23 students, two faculty members—one, Almon Nicholas Taylor, was also the school president—and "two copies of Webster's International Dictionary bound in sheepskin" as teaching resources. The first graduating class, in 1901, consisted of four women who received credentials to teach in the Arizona Territory. In 1925, the Arizona State Legislature allowed the school, which was now called the Northern Arizona State Teachers College, to grant bachelor of education degrees. In 1929, the school became Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff.

Also in 1929, the Great Depression struck the nation, and the ASTC found new meaning in community outreach. Rather than collapsing, the school endured through the depression. In fact, Grady Gammage, the school president at the time, described higher education as "a 'depression industry' that fared well in hard times." Despite financial difficulties, enrollment increased from 321 students to 535 students between 1930 and 1940, and graduate work was introduced in 1937.

ASTC provided an education during economically trying times, often creating jobs to help students afford their education; they worked in the school-owned dairy farm, in the campus kitchen and dining hall, and as newspaper deliverers. The self-sufficiency of the college helped conserve monetary resources, and it was a major contributor to the local economy of the surrounding Flagstaff community, injecting almost a half million dollars in 1938.

ASTC was known for its diverse student body and ethnic tolerance. In fact, the first Hopi to receive a college degree was Ida Mae Fredericks in 1939. Students came from rural farms, mining families, the East Coast, and points between. During the depression, lots of fraternities and clubs sprang up, reflecting the diversity of background and interests.

Enrollment dropped sharply at the beginning of World War II, dropping to 161 in 1945. During this time, ASTC became a Navy V-12 program training site. However, the end of World War II brought increased enrollment as returning veterans returned to continue their education.

The end of the war also expanded programs beyond teaching degrees, especially in the fields of art and science. To reflect this growth, the school changed its name to Arizona State College at Flagstaff in 1945 and, 1958, became Arizona State College after the former Arizona State College at Tempe became Arizona State University. Also in 1958, the Forestry Program was introduced. With further growth over the next two decades, the Arizona Board of Regents granted Arizona State College university status as Northern Arizona University in 1966.

Flagstaff Campus

Perched at 6,950 feet (2,120 m) above sea level, and one of the highest-elevation four-year college campuses in the country, the main campus is surrounded by the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest on the North American continent and enjoys a four-season climate. Snow is common in winter, with accumulations most prevalent in January, February, and March. Winter skiing is accessible at Arizona Snowbowl, an alpine ski resort located on the San Francisco Peaks, 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Flagstaff, with an average annual snowfall of 260 inches.

NAU offers 91 bachelor's degree programs, 49 master's degree programs and 11 doctoral degree programs, along with 38 undergraduate and 26 graduate certificates. The university was charged by the Arizona Board of Regents in 2006 to develop innovative ways to provide access and affordability to all Arizona residents. NAU developed the Pledge Program, 2NAU partnerships with community colleges and NAU-Yavapai, a collaboration with Yavapai College in Prescott Valley, Arizona. NAU-Yuma just celebrated its 25th anniversary of the partnership with Arizona Western College.

Extended campuses

Northern Arizona University is a public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association. In addition to the more than 22,000 students on the Flagstaff campus, NAU currently serves more than 8,000 students online and statewide.

NAU's Extended Campuses offer 99 online accredited degree programs on more than 30 campuses throughout the state. NAU is the first public university to offer a competency-based online degree program that allows students to earn credit for experience. Personalized Learning was launched in May 2013, and federal financial aid is available for the program, which has a flat fee of $3,000 for a six-month subscription. This subscription allows students access to their complete program's course material, so students have the flexibility to complete as many courses as they can throughout their six-month. As of March 2017, NAU's offers Personal Learning option in the degrees of computer information technology, liberal arts, management, nursing, and small business administration.

NAU is the first university in Arizona to attain program accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Educators (NCATE). Additional accreditation includes Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management has earned accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, an honor earned by fewer than 20% of the nation's baccalaureate degree-granting programs in the field.


In the fall of 2010, the top undergraduate degrees by enrollment were elementary education, biology, hotel and restaurant management, nursing, and criminology and criminal justice.

College of Arts and Letters

The College of Arts and Letters (CAL) houses the Asian Studies Program, Cinema Studies, Comparative Cultural Studies (formerly Humanities, Arts, and Religion), English, History, Latin American Studies, Modern Languages, Museum Studies, Philosophy, School of Art, School of Music, and Theatre. The college also oversees the NAU Art Museum, Martin-Springer Institute (promoting lessons of the Holocaust), Northern Arizona Writing Project, Ardrey Memorial Auditorium, and Ashurst Hall. The College of Arts and Letters Film Series has been providing quality classic films to the NAU and Flagstaff community for more than nine years and all that jazz. The NAU International Film Series has recently been established. Giggity. Department faculty and students share their scholarly work and artistic achievement through more than 300 performances, lectures, films, and exhibitions a year.

College of Education

The College of Education prepares educators, counselors, school psychologists, and school administrators. Fields of study include teaching and learning (e.g., early childhood, elementary, and secondary), educational leadership, educational psychology, and educational specialties (e.g., bilingual and multicultural education, career and technical education, educational technology, and special education).

College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

The College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences has eleven departments and a Quaternary Program, thirteen centers, and two institutes.

College of Health and Human Services

NAU's College of Health and Human Services consists of the School of Nursing, Health Sciences, Dental Hygiene, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Physical Therapy, and a newly formed (as of Fall 2012) Physician Assistant school based out of Phoenix, Arizona.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences undergraduate programs include anthropology, applied indigenous studies, criminology and criminal justice, ethnic studies, geography, planning and recreation, political science, psychology, communication, sociology/social work, and women's and gender studies.

The W.A. Franke College of Business

The W.A. Franke College of Business's primary focus is undergraduate education, but it also offers master’s level education and research opportunities. Businessman Bill Franke's commitment of $25 million resulted in the renaming of the college in his honor. The W.A. Franke College of Business was fully re-accredited in fall 2008 by the national accrediting body AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. NAU's program is one of about 400 accredited programs among the more than 1,000 throughout the nation. In 2006, the college moved into a new 111,000-square-foot (10,300 m2), LEED-certified building.

Graduate College

The Graduate College offers programs in fields such as biotechnology, health, business, environmental and sustainable systems, and teaching. It offers more than 50 master’s degrees, 13 doctoral degrees, and more than 20 graduate certificates, both in-person and online.

University College

Effective Summer 2016, the University College was dissolved.

University College acts as a portal for students to make an efficient, informed decision about pursuing a path for the future. Undergraduate students automatically become a part of University College when admitted to Northern Arizona University. Various programs, resources and support are offered to students, faculty and staff which include academic transition programs, the First Year Learning Initiative, and the Bachelor of University Studies degree program.

Residence halls

Northern Arizona University has 21 residence halls on its Flagstaff campus.

Freshman Connections residence halls

Available Freshman Connections halls include Allen Hall, Campbell Hall, Cowden Hall, Ernest Calderón Learning Community, Gabaldon Hall, McConnell Hall, Morton Hall, Reilly Hall, Sechrist Hall (an eight-story residence hall, making it the tallest building in Northern Arizona), Taylor Hall, Tinsley Hall, and Wilson Hall.

Upper division housing

Upper division housing is available only to sophomores.


Gabaldon and Mountain View (Greek Students' Hall).


Campus apartments consist of: Campus Heights, Gillenwater, McDonald, McKay Village, Pine Ridge Village, Raymond, Roseberry, South Village.

Residents of family units are within the Flagstaff Unified School District Residents are zoned to Kinsey Elementary School, Mount Elden Middle School, and Flagstaff High School.

NAU Partner Housing by American Campus Communities

Rising juniors and seniors currently living on campus have priority leasing status for university-partnered housing located on campus. These halls are located on the NAU campus but are operated by American Campus Communities. The Suites, Hilltop Townhomes, Skyview (Opening Fall 2017).


Student athletes compete at national, international, and professional levels in football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, track and field, tennis, and swimming and diving. The university participates in fifteen intercollegiate sports programs. NAU teams compete at the Walkup Skydome, a multipurpose building providing facilities for football, basketball, indoor track and field, soccer, weight lifting, lacrosse, student recreation, major concert events, commencements, intramurals, and a variety of other university and community activities.

The Lumberjacks compete at the NCAA Division I level in all sports. In football, the Lumberjacks compete at the Football Championship Subdivision level (formerly known as Division I-AA). NAU competes in the Big Sky Conference in all sports except swimming and diving, which is part of the Western Athletic Conference.

In 2016, the Lumberjacks won the NCAA Men's Division I Cross Country Championship.

Maya Kalle-Bentzur of Israel set the school outdoor long jump record at 20' 6" (6.10 metres), NAU records in both the women's indoor and outdoor long (20' 6".00) and triple jumps (41' 3".75), and 40' 5".00 in the indoor triple jump. She was an NCAA All American in 1984. In 1989 she was inducted into the NAU Athletic Hall of Fame.

Because of its altitude, the facilities are sometimes used for training by Olympic athletes (who will then go on to compete at sea level).

On-campus activities

NAU has more than 200 recognized professional, academic, service and social organizations, an intramural sports program, The Lumberjack student newspaper, and active residence hall organizations.

The Lumberjack

The university's award-winning, weekly newspaper is an independent, student-run publication called The Lumberjack. In May 2007, the newspaper won a Society of Professional Journalists national award in the editorial writing category for articles printed during 2006.

KLJX-LP, NAZ Today, and UTV62

KLJX-LP (KJACK) is available in Flagstaff on 107.1 FM or online. KLJX-LP an FM licensed radio station run by NAU students out of the School of Communication. NAU's televised news program, NAZ Today, airs Monday through Thursday in Flagstaff on NPG cable channel 4; formerly, it also aired on UniversityHouse (Dish Network channel 9411) until it folded. Since the shutdown of Channel 2 news in August 2008, NAZ Today is now the only TV news source for the Flagstaff area. UTV62 is NAU's student run and produced television station. UTV62 runs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on channel 62 on campus. UTV62 creates one short film each semester through their production unit, UTV Films. UTV62 also sponsors two film festivals during the school year: the 73 Hour Film Festival in the fall, and the Northern Arizona Student Film Festival in the spring.

School Sandwhich

Tuna wrapped in a tortilla. This sandwich is whack. It's not even a sandwich. No one likes it.

Recreation services

The NAU Recreation Center was remodeled in the fall of 2011, creating the NAU Health and Learning Center in its place. Features include an indoor jogging track, 38 foot climbing wall, larger weight room, multipurpose gym, and a cardio theatre. The Health and Learning Center also includes all of the on-campus medical services that were previously housed in the Fronske Health Center, a pharmacy, and the offices for Disability Resources on campus. It also features the only escalator in all of Northern Arizona.

Intramural sports

Intramural sports are organized for teams and individuals and include flag football, soccer, volleyball, softball, racquetball, and backgammon. Sports clubs include baseball, rugby, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, Wushu, kendo and judo (martial arts), and water polo.

Movies and other events

Unions and Student Activities offers many services and events for the campus community, such as movies and the popular Friday night AfterHours program produced by SUN Entertainment. SUN also presents several concerts and special events each year and coordinates Welcome Week concerts. The College of Arts and Letters presents classic films every Tuesday night during the school year, and also presents more than 300 music and theatrical performances, lectures, films and art exhibitions yearly.


The NAU Alumni Association represents more than 160,000 alumni from the U.S.

Professional sports

The Arizona Cardinals of the NFL conducted their summer training camp at Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus for many years until 2013. The Cardinals left Flagstaff to conduct their camp in Glendale in 2013. Beginning in 2014, NAU entered into partnerships with the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury of the NBA and WNBA respectively.


Northern Arizona University Wikipedia